My first batch of Dog Potholders is done and for sale in my Etsy Shop. You can see them all and buy them here. They’re $20 each + $5 shipping for one or more.
The dogs in these potholders came from a linen towel that someone sent me. The rest of the fabric comes from one 1960s quilt top. So you get a dog and vintage fabric all in one potholder.
You’ll also see Suzy’s Woodland Shawlin my Etsy Shop for sale and my Dirty Dishes Magnet. I only have five of them left and I don’t plan on making more. And I still have all of my other magnets, on sale for $1 each. Just click here to get to my Etsy Shop.
I’m going to be taking the weekend off. I always take Saturdays off, but this weekend, I’m taking both days off. I don’t have anything planned, I could just use another day off.
I’ll be back on Monday with my Monday Morning Video.
Rachel’s landscape was lit up this yesterday in-between the shadow of the plants and curtain on the window. I love watching the shadow the sun throws as the season’s change. And Rachels painting is a reminder of warmer days.
The waning moon, like an eye with her lid half shut watched me as I walked through the gate into the back pasture. It was 2:30 am, the dark sky was pierced with stars, the half-moon still bright enough to throw shadows.
I woke up with tears in my eyes and an overwhelming feeling of being disconnected from the world around me. It wasn’t loneliness but the feeling of being an outcast, of not belonging.
Out the window, moonlight glinted off the metal ridge cap on the barn roof. A sliver of light that beaconed to me. I kissed Jon’s head and slipped out of bed, quietly pulled on socks and pants under my nightgown and closed the bedroom door behind me.
Fate followed me into the back pasture, but the rest of the animals stayed behind. I stood on the highest point of the small hill and looked up at the sky. There were the few constellations I’m familiar with, Orion, the Big Dipper, The Seven Sisters and more groupings of stars that looked like they might be something.
When I looked down the frost on the grass sparkled in the moonlight, like tiny stars. And I felt as if I was being held between the stars in the sky and the stars under my feet.
The farm house and barn were toy sized in the distance. And as I looked at them I thought of how this was my home, that it all belonged to me.
But in the next instant I knew that I would only be here a short time. That the house and barn were already here longer than I’ve been alive. And the land, with its manmade boundaries, could never really belong to anyone.
That’s when I realized that it didn’t belong to me, but that I belonged to it.
To the house and the barn, to the seventeen acres of pasture and woods but also the land stretching out around it and under it, to the earth and the stars, the moon and the sky.
Suddenly I felt connected to something so much bigger than myself. And I was flooded with the feeling of belonging. I’m not an outcast, I thought, I know my place in the world.
On the way back to the house I fed the sheep and donkeys some apples, then had a cup of warm milk and went back to bed.
Jon was still sleeping when I crawled in next to him, and I quickly fell asleep feeling content and grounded in my new understanding of what it means to me to belong.
My quilt has taken a few turns since I began working on it. I literally turned it on its side to get to the point I’m at right now. I’m really focusing on the thin lines in this quilt, maybe you can see that already.
I did forget to take pictures along the way, but this is what it looks like at the end of my day in my studio. I’m be heading out to bellydancing in a little while, so it’s an early night for me.
“Let’s get a pedicure,” Jon said. And I immediately started thinking about what color nail polish I’d choose.
This is a very different reaction for me since the first time Jon suggested we get pedicures. Then I was, well, horrified at the thought. But something has changed in me since that day about eight months ago.
We had one more pedicure after that first one, then Jon had all the trouble with his toe and there were plenty of time when he couldn’t even get his foot wet. But now that’s all in the past and in keeping with trying to slow down this week, I was actually looking forward to today’s pedicure. It also felt like a celebration of Jon’s foot finally being healed.
I chose a deep pink with sparkles and Jon went with a dark red with Maria written in white on his big toe. They had to spread my name over the two toes, but it still worked.
I had forgotten how good it feels to get a pedicure with all the extra foot care. It definitely slowed me down. So much I almost fell asleep.
But then I remembered when Theodor painted Eleanor’s toes red in Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House.
“I hate having things done to me”…. “I don’t like to feel helpless”, Eleanor tells Theodore. Then she says that’s it wicked to have her toes painted, that it makes her feel like a fool.
Theodore replies that she has wickedness and foolishness mixed up.
As I write this I think it’s crazy to have so many feelings, especially negative ones, tied to having my toenails painted. And yet once again, Eleanors words rang true for me. The first time Jon and I had a pedicure and I had my toenails painted red, I looked down at my feet and knew they were not the kind of feet that had painted toes.
Did I think them wicked, foolish, or just ugly?
Now I don’t know. I do know I was taught that women who wore makeup and painted their nails, were wicked (aka sluts) But at this point in my life, I like the idea of being a wicked woman.
I think in those eight months between pedicures, like the snakes in the woodshed, I shed some useless old skin. And that’s why now, when I Iook down at my bright pink sparkly toe nails, I smile.
They look good, I said to Jon about my toes. And I told him the red he chose suits his toes. You’d think that Jon would have had a harder time having his toenails painted than me. But it was his idea in the first place.
Bless him for suggesting it and bringing me along. It’s another step in the right direction for me. One more old useless belief slushed off. I feel lighter already.
I don’t remember who sent me the linen towel with the dogs on it. I stashed it away waiting for the right time to use it.
The right time came on Friday. I can’t say why it was the right time, only that it was. There’s so many ways to deal with these dog images, and it took me while to figure out how to work with them in a way that spoke to me.
So I searched my fabric, as I do, and when I came across the quilt pieces that I cut off of one of the quilt tops that I put together for Bishop Maginn, I knew I found what I was looking for.
Except for the first potholder I made, everyone of the 20 dog potholders is made with the fabric from this wonderful quilt top from the 1960’s
“Warm and woodsy is what comes to mind” I wrote the other day when Suzy described the colors she was using in her new shawl.
Yesterday she sent me a picture of that shawl all done and I thought I was right. It feels to me like walking in the winter woods.
Take a close look and you’ll see the subtle shift of color in the natural variations of browns and grays above the snowy white. Then there’s the thin strip of green, like the lacy ferns that pop up though the early snow. Or it’s the moss that stays green all winter long, clinging to the bark of a tree.
It’s a Woods Woman’s shawl. A way to wrap yourself in nature, no matter where you are.
Suzy hand spins and knits her shawls from the wool of her mohair goats Lucy, Ruth,April, Alice and Larry. She’s dedicated to detail, and also uses wool that she buys throughout the year from other farmer’s. The light gray locks spun into the white mohair of Woodland Shawl, come from a Wensleydale lamb.
Suzy’s washes each shawl in a natural solution so it’s as soft and warm as it looks.
Woodland Shawl is 59″x19″ and is $150 + $10 shipping. You can buy it in my Etsy Shop, just click here. Or you can email me here at [email protected]. I take checks, PayPal and Venmo.
Suzy’s goats are pretty popular on YouTube with over a thousand views. See where move of her wool comes from….